Illness and Wellness

I remember when I was a child, I used to look forward to falling a little ill. That faint fever which slows you down, I used to call it the happy kind of sadness. More than 15 years later, when this memory comes back, it sparks something beautiful within. I still feel the same about illness. But with some confidence of experience.

Falling ill is a way for the body to tell us to stop for a while and rest. But we take medicines immediately and want to get rid of this ill omen which is upon us! That is not the case. It’s just that our body has such a wonderful coping mechanism that it always knows what is good for it. If we just wait and let the illness runs its course, it is a more wholesome process. There are some things within which need to die and move on and illness is a way to catalyze this process.

This does not mean that if we fracture a bone, we sit and wait for it to heal! Urgent treatment is required and that is why the whole science of medicine has to be explored. We need to know more and more about our body- our temple, our mosque, our church, our house.

And to implement this is not something we can do right away! There is preparation. We need to be patient, we need to listen to our body.

How does that happen? Experiments! Try different things. We’ve been given a set of rules the moment we were born and they are all fine but we need to discover them for ourselves! Don’t we put our finger in the fire to test it out? Don’t we take different opinions from people before taking a decision? Why limit it to tiny things in life? Why not venture big! Try experiments with food, try experiments with living and dying.

See what does the body tell you when you stay away from any food for a day (upavas)? See what what does it mean to quit all dairy products? See what does it mean to eat non-vegetarian food (if you don’t already)? See what does it mean to over-eat! What does it do to your body? And don’t do it on some special day when everyone is doing it because it is meant to be good for you. Discover for yourself! Is it really good to your body? Do you feel better? A wise man once said, ‘Bhojan sehat ke liye achcha hai, satt ke liye nahi’ (Food is good for our health but not so much if you’re looking for truth).

And after we’ve walked a certain bit, we’ll realize the power of listening. We’ll be sensitive enough to listen to our body. Then we’ll be able to see that instant medication is not required in this case and is required in some other case. We’ll be able to feel and realize what remedies nature has made for a particular ailment (ginger feels good for this, honey feels good for that, turmeric feels good for something else). But it takes some time. Everything doesn’t work instantaneously. There will be some physical suffering, there will be some sacrifices to be made (like not being able to finish a project on time and or not being able to go for some event) but then it’s upon us to choose! Do we want to know our own truth? Do we want to realize the Buddha within all of us? 🙂

Hari Om!

Ik Onkar Satnam!

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